We have all heard that exercise has an impact on mood AND that if we like what we are doing not only does the exercise go much better but also our mood improves too! Exercise is a critical part of our self care. Not only because it improves all of our physiological functions but also it is a big factor in better mental health.

Prior to joining MPower Fitness , our client Cat, was definitely in a slump with regards to fitness. She says, “For years I had been a member at LifeTime—had joined a Bootcamp, but the prohibitive cost of their program, and the lack of community, forced me out the door. Because I didn’t have a regular routine, I was feeling low, depressed, tired, and frustrated with myself. I had recently moved to Plymouth, so I knew no one in the area. After stuffing my feelings with popcorn at the movie theater, I walked into MPower Fitness and met Rachael. My selective memory has me kicking ass the next morning at a session. Rachael has reminded me that it took awhile before I actually showed up…for REAL. I thank her for her patience and support. Fourteen months later, I write these words.”

Cat’s inspiration to take care of herself comes from her late father. She knows when she prioritizes herself and her health she can show up better in all areas of her life. “My dad died almost ten years ago. My mom spoke at his funeral, as did my three siblings and I. People wrote to us later that they left the service vowing to be better husbands, better fathers, better men. Before my dad died, he said to us, ‘In the end, NOTHING matters besides WHO you loved, and who loved YOU.’ The love we learned growing up—the love we continue to give each other—is what inspires me, guides me; it sits at the center of my gratitude and is what keeps me motivated to constantly strive to be my best version of daughter, sister, aunt and friend.”

From the outset of joining MPower Fitness my goal was to lose 10lbs, feel empowered/ proud of myself so I could be a better Catherine to others. Looking back of the year, Cat did lose the 10lbs but she did more than that because she also dropped 5% body fat, added lean mass and lost 2.25 inches from her waist. She says, “My new goals center around keeping the weight off- creating a new normal- also learning how to prepare and cook great food. I want to continue to push myself in different races/runs/active events. I want to be a Coach at MPower Fitness, but need to figure out when I’m going to study for the test. Gulp.”

For Cat, her biggest challenge is the “balancing act called life” She says she has noticed that, “A new pattern in my life is that each day begins with me asking myself, ‘Which session are you going to go to today?’ I know that other commitments will have to jockey their way around this main commitment.”  

Throughout her life, Cat is constantly focusing on new behaviors vs falling into old behaviors. She is prioritizing avoiding happy hours, events that revolve around drinking, and her greatest nemesis: nicotine. “I am genetically ripe for cancer, heart disease, depression, alcoholism; therefore, I have a constant focus (often struggle) to keep helping my chances to avoid these diseases. How do I get through it? By continuing to move forward—by continuing to ask myself, Who do you want to be?”

This is HUGE! Congratulations Cat. When we make and keep the commitments to ourselves it is that much easier for everything else to fall into place…

Cat says that it is more than just a physical transformation that has occurred for her at Boot Camp.  Her overall experience is “a journey/transformation from unfocused to focused; from self-negation to self-affirmation; from feeling lost to feeling centered. The best thing that has happened to me since joining MPower Fitness is the community that I have built, which truly is the center of this organization. One of the mornings this week, I drove up for the 6:00 am session and saw four women walking together from their cars. I smiled and felt a tangible sense of happiness and strength. What’s most amazing about MY STORY is that it’s everyone’s story who is a Boot Camp member. We all had reasons we walked in the door. We all have reasons that we continue to walk in the door—some days with our fears and our sadnesses; other days with our smiles and our laughter. Megan and Team have created this safe haven for all of us to gather and support each other. I feel extremely blessed to be connected to such an amazing group of strong, beautiful women. The journey has just begun…”

Cat you’ve been client of the month. You’ve been a smiling and welcoming face to new Boot Camp members. You’ve inspired others on their journey and yet the journey has just begun…

In your time with us you’ve learned much about prioritizing yourself and your health and we are so proud of you and all you’ve accomplished.

Thank you for being an amazing, loving, welcoming and inspiring member of our Fit Family!

A lot of our clients begin their fitness program with us because they want to feel better and have more energy, but they don’t have time to waste doing this. 

Almost everyone we see is BUSY. 

Our early a.m. client Erin H is no exception to this. With two little ones, a full-time job, work travel and long days Erin needs fast and effective workouts. 

She says, “I don’t know how I could do it if MPower didn’t offer 30-minute sessions. My days are FULL, but with MPower I am able to get my workout in at 5:30am and still get home in time for a busy morning routine before making it downtown for work by 8. The 30 minute workout can fit into anyone’s schedule and I accomplish just as much in 30 minutes as I would at the gym by myself for an hour!”

Before coming to train with us Erin wasn’t really doing much, she says. She had gained weight with each of her pregnancies and was struggling to lose it.  She wanted to get back to feeling herself. Prior to babies she “used to run a lot and worked out at LA Fitness”.  Her body had changed though with each pregnancy and she found that she no longer enjoyed the same workouts she used to…plus there was the time piece. She needed something that she could get done quickly and effectively.   

She knew she could get back to feeling great: healthy, happy and energetic. So she got signed up with us. 

She says, “I never thought I could actually enjoy waking up at 5am to go workout – but I really do! The early morning coaches have such great energy. Big shout out to coach Jenna here! I am also usually at the gym on Saturdays and Sundays. Weekends are fun because I get to see/meet others that don’t work out or coach in the mornings. I also love the variety. In the year I have been here I know I haven’t done the exact same workout twice. There are always new moves, new variations, and new challenges. I love it!”

It hasn’t been a perfect journey for Erin, she admits. She travels a lot for work so each time she returns from a trip she needs to rebuild the habit of getting to the early a.m. sessions but she has a supportive husband and she is loving feeling stronger than ever so she is never away for too long. 

We are so happy you found us Erin and excited to be a part of your routine and your fitness journey! Congratulations on your success. We are excited to see what 2020 brings you. 

Megan K and the team 

When people walk through the doors at MPower fitness they know they want a change. They want something better for their lives. Sometimes they come in in rough shape, emotionally and physically. Sometimes they are doing pretty well but looking for something different. 

Most often they don’t know just how much their lives will positively change with consistent exercise, a supportive community and what people call the magic of MPower.

Rachael’s story is truly amazing and for those of you who know her, she (and her children) have been through a lot in the last 8 years. 

When she first came in, she was struggling to cope with the death of her husband Clay and to raise two young boys alone. 

She had gained weight, was still gaining, wasn’t exercising and was rounding out each day with a bottle of wine.  

Within a year of joining the program, her whole life looked dramatically different. For the Better! 

She had lost weight, lost inches, was in incredible shape and had earned herself a role on our MPower team. 

Roughly 3 years into her journey, she, Kellie Lillehei and I were on a trip to Florida for a convention.  We were sitting poolside and Kellie and I suggested that Rachael consider doing a bikini competition. I’m pretty sure this came about as we were sipping a cocktail and Rachael was trying to figure out how to put the exact drink into her myfitnesspal tracking app.  

I’m also pretty sure Kellie and I were giving Rachael some grief for not ever putting the myfitnesspal down :p. But what we saw was grit and dedication. The kind we knew would be what it took to do a fitness competition. 

Rachael says, “I knew nothing of fitness competitions…didn’t even know what it was. When I did find out what it was all about, I decided it wasn’t for me. 

Another 2 years passed. Now I was thinking about where I wanted to see myself at 50. I revisited the idea of fitness competition. It turns out bikini was not where I saw myself but figure was a category I could see myself doing and I had a lot of work ahead of me.”

Fast forward through a rigorous eating plan, 4-5 days per week of training and almost a year without any alcohol. This past May, Rachael walked on stage at Mr and Ms Natural MN and won 3rd place!  

“In a million years, I never could have imagined achieving this kind of goal. But thanks largely in part to the encouragement and support of my MPower family. I did the thing!”

Over the last 6 years, Rachael’s role here at MPower has evolved too. She became a certified coach and has been making cameo appearances on the floor at both studios. She is a regular meeting with clients for what we call NAG sessions: Nutrition and Goal setting appointments. 

She loves any and all client interactions- except collecting delinquent payments. (Let’s be honest, none of us really like that part.)

She says, she is always able to find the silver lining and sometimes she thinks that she is happier and more excited for their progress than they are! 

But being in great shape and being the “healthy mom” hasn’t just impacted her work life. Rachael knows her two boys are proud of her. She delights when they and their friends ask for tips and suggestions on health and fitness.  

If you had asked Rachael, 7 years ago when she sat across from me crying (and hung over) where she would be by this time I know she wouldn’t have said here.  She has made gigantic strides in the last 7 years and she couldn’t be happier. 

Also, she recently got engaged! If you see her give her a big ole hug and ask to see that beautiful ring of hers. 

We love you Rachael and are glad to have you as a part of the family. 

We can’t wait to see what this next decade brings for her and all of you! 

As a side note, 

I’m not sure what I’d do without a good Rachael story to tell when I go home to visit my actual family :p

For some of our clients the habit of exercise already exists, and they are in a routine of healthy habits but they’ve lost “inspiration, motivation and don’t have a feeling of belonging”. 

For our awesome early morning client Amie G, she says “I belonged to a large gym here in town.  I enjoyed participating in classes (when I could take an 1+ out of my day), but didn’t feel like there was a sense of community.  I felt I didn’t have any support emotionally or mentally;  it felt like I was alone on my fitness journey. 

I even tried participating in boot camp classes but found that wasn’t helping me achieve any of my fitness goals.  I’m the type of person that needs inspiration and needs to be challenged.”

For a goal minded person who likes a challenge it can be easy to become unmotivated and gradually fall out of the healthy habits like exercise.  

Amie says, “I stopped going to the club and the only exercise I got was walking my dogs and the occasional run on our home treadmill.   Physically I wasn’t in bad shape, but knew that I needed to start exercising more and needed to increase my fitness level.”

Her inspiration to make a change and increase her fitness was twofold: in 2016 Amie had open heart surgery and an aortic valve replacement. She wanted to make sure she was continuing to improve her fitness levels and care for her body.

Her good friend Steph had been attending and Amie was aware of the progress Stephanie had made and how much she loved the community here at MPower (then Fit Body).  

When you find something you love it can be a natural fit! 

Amie says, “It has been wonderful! I have always been a ‘class’ person so the format is great. I also like variety and balance with the cardio and strength combinations.   Being able to get results in 30 minutes has also been one of the highlights. It makes it easier to fit the workouts in with my busy schedule. I like having the opportunity to participate in different activities like yoga, Amazing Race, etc.. so much fun!” 

We are glad you found us Amie and we can’t wait to help you push past your Ascension Level 2 Test 🙂 

Megan K and the team

Recently our client Cassi K made a big post celebrating her 1 year anniversary with us and all of her accomplishments. 

We are so proud of you Cassi and what you’ve done this past year. 🙂

Thank you for sharing your experience with us and for allowing us to be your fitness family. 

“After a quick google search, I impulsively joined a 6 week challenge with a gym I had never heard of – MPower (then Fit Body Boot Camp).  

It was September of 2018, I was in a rough spot mentally, emotionally and physically… desperate to find something within my own power to change.  

Previously I had a couple(!) dusty gym memberships; attending a few classes at LA Fitness, and enjoying them… but hating the big gym vibe.  

From day one I fell in love with this place.  Rachael & Ann Marie shared their stories at orientation and I instantly felt a sense of community and realness.  

Real people, real life, and what I would later see as REAL results.  And in 30 minutes a day?  For once, it felt obtainable. 

The 5:30 am sessions quickly became my favorite way to start the day.  The coaches are so encouraging but yet challenge my abilities!  And really, who can start their Tuesday without some 90’s music and a morning groan-er? …compliments of  Coach Abby.  I leave feeling sweaty and sore, but oh so accomplished… and while it’s still dark outside!   Jam balls and Kettle bells are definitely my fave, plus it’s cheaper than therapy!  😉 

The biggest challenge has been overcoming my poor -long time in the making- eating habits.  After participating in a few challenges, I’ve recognized the when and why I eat, and am making some great changes.  Healthy eating and especially food prep felt intimidating, but I’ve learned that I can do it, and I don’t have to sacrifice taste either. 

My four girls, three of which are teenagers, are my inspiration… I desire for them to have a healthy body image, see their inner beauty and know their strength. They have cheered me on from the get-go, and one of my girls even joined me for a challenge! 

At the beginning of this year I set a goal for myself, and have met with MK monthly in pursuit of that.  I cannot say enough about this amazing lady.  It’s clear this is her passion, and she lives it.  🙂  

1 year down, and I am so dang proud of myself for jumping in eyes-wide-shut.  While weight loss was my original goal, I’ve gained so much more in knowledge & support… it can’t compare to the few pounds I’ve lost. 

I feel insanely grateful for my FitFam.  It’s like having 25 personal trainers and a gang whose only goal is to MPower you… 

It’s been amazing to see how far I’ve come, and I’m not done yet! 

I never knew how strong I could be.  <3 “

Cassi has lost 25lbs, 23.5 inches, 9.9% bf in 15 months – WOW!

A sedentary lifestyle, lack of motivation and lowered self-confidence often go hand in hand.  

When we aren’t moving and grooving it can feel almost impossible to get into the habit of exercise. We often know that exercise will make us feel better but getting going can be really tough. 

Exercise not only gives us more energy and improves mood, but it is also directly associated with improved self-confidence.  

Given all of this, it was no surprise when our fabulous client Kelly told us that she was suffering from low confidence and a total lack of motivation before she joined MPower. 

Kelly wanted to get in shape, but she was exhausted. 

She had two little kids and initially lost some baby weight after her second child but then began struggling and gaining it back.  

Kelly discovered our program online when she saw a facebook ad. She says, “I was sitting on the my couch (per usual at the time) thinking about my lack of motivation to get fit after having my baby in 2017, when I came across your ad for the challenge on facebook. And I thought that this is what I needed to jumpstart the process.  And it worked. I’ve never felt so strong.” 

While Kelly was initially a little overwhelmed by making changes to her nutrition, adding in exercise and doing all the things necessary to change her health and her life, she noticed that by the end of the first few weeks she had more energy and she was “running up the stairs without a second thought about being out of breath”. A few months later and she ran her first 10K! 

Kelly treats her workout sessions like an appointment. 

She preschedules them and has them on her calendar. They are nonnegotiable for her. 

She was inspired to make these changes because she wanted to be a good role model for her children- especially her three year old daughter. 

Her daughter is already asking if she can join and exercise when she is an adult too…

Kelly says her experience with MPower has been great. “I have so much more energy, which translates into so much more life. I’m more active with my kids and family and happier at the end of the day. I have made exercise a natural part of my life again, after a 5 year hiatus.

Everyone is super supportive – the people, the coaches, and the environment. MPower encourages me to do more than I thought I could do for fitness, especially at this point in my life when I’m juggling career, husband, and two little kids.” 

We love to hear it! 

Kelly hasn’t hit her end goal yet but she is on track and committed to the process. She is down 4.9% body fat and several lbs and inches- which we think is a great start! 

Kelly we are glad you found us and got up the motivation to come in and get started. 

Getting started can be one of the hardest parts, but you did it! 

Now you are on track. 

If you are in the same position Kelly was in and wanting to get going but lacking motivation, reply to this email and let’s schedule a call or a meeting.

We want you to feel as great as our clients do! 

Megan K and the team

A lot of times we find that we come into the lives of our clients, exactly when they need it most.  This is the case for our dear client Ann-Marie. 

Before finding MPower,  Ann- Marie says “I was in between healing from an injury I sustained while at Crossfit.   I was struggling because I LOVE to work out and was missing it greatly.  I knew I wasn’t going to return to Crossfit for many reasons and was feeling lost. Healing from an injury was tough physically and this of course affected me emotionally and mentally.” 

Ann-Marie was desperate to find somewhere she could recover from her injury and belong to a fitness family. 

In addition to feeling a bit lost, she says she was also struggling with body image issues.   “When I started at MPower I was doing “blind weight” during my weigh-ins.” (Meaning she would avoid looking at the scale)  

“I have struggled with body image issues for many many years and due to this I started doing “blind weights” so I would let the number on the scale control my life.   After receiving such loving support from the staff at MPower and learning so much about nutrition and body comp as it applies to me personally, I have overcome my weight number issues and I know that the number on the scale does not define me!”

Thankfully Ann-Marie has a supportive family.  She is immensely grateful for her husband who is her rock. “He supports me in EVERYTHING I do.  He is so supportive with the children, my crazy daily schedule and my love and need for fitness.”

With 8 children and many with special needs to say Ann-Marie’s life is busy is an understatement.  She fits MPower into her life by attending the early a.m. sessions. Perhaps you’ve seen her at MG taking a selfie with a group of her fit family friends? 

“When I am attending MPower regularly, the rest of my days and responsibilities go better.  I am a better mom, wife, friend, co worker, etc because I feel better . It is the one of the best things I do for myself. 

Becoming a member at MPower has been a godsend.  I finally found a gym family that I fit into. I hadn’t found this before… The love of the coaches, staff and fellow fit members is wonderful.   I have learned so much about nutrition and have been able to apply it to my everyday life and and my family’s life. I tell EVERYONE i can about MPower.” 

“I have not only seen physical changes such as weight loss, bodyfat loss, lean muscle gain, but I have gained an amazing group of friends. Ann-Marie is down: -14.8lbs, -12.25” and 3% bodyfat

 I love the coaching here at MPower Fitness.  Again, I have never experienced the level of coaching before that I see at MPower.  The staff truly care about each and everyone of the members. Their knowledge of fitness and nutrition is top notch.   I am so blessed to be part of such an amazing gym family.”

We are so grateful you found us Ann-Marie and so glad that we are your fit family!

Our client (and now coach) Jenn J found MPower fitness when she was physically, emotionally and mentally tired from a tough year and having a 4 year old and a 6 month old at home.  

She says  “I was in need of self care for my well being and I didn’t want to feel sluggish anymore. I needed to reclaim the fitness routine I had lost a year earlier. MPower came into my life at the one year anniversary of my Dad’s passing which was also the one year anniversary of having stopped working out on a regular basis.”

She was inspired to get into better shape and lose the “new baby fog” by a quote from her mom ‘feel the fear and do it anyway’.  

With two small children and a husband who also works full-time, Jenn had some juggling to do to fit MPower into her schedule.  “I choose the 5:30 am sessions as they are the least disruptive to my family, work and day-to-day agenda. I have always preferred early morning workouts and find that being able to tune out the noise and be present for my workout sets a productive tone for the rest of my day.  I am better at home and work when I can start my day this way.” If you have been to the 5:30am session you have likely met Jenn J. She is usually quietly kicking butt in session or there to help out with the coaching. 🙂 

Jenn says, 

“My original goal was to get in the best shape I’ve been in up to this point. Originally, I planned to be a size 10/12 and now I’m a size 4/6. I am still in disbelief that that was even possible.”

 “From a performance standpoint, I completed the Twin Cities Loony Challenge in Oct 2019 to see what impact 18 months of HIIT workouts would have on my running.  I far surpassed my goals and paced 3 min/mile faster than my historical average. That race is one of my proudest life accomplishments and was the greatest feeling.”

WOW. Nice work Jenn! 

When asked about her experience at MPower, Jenn J says 

“My experience has been so positive and rewarding and resonates with me so strongly that I pursued coaching.  

Fitness and nutrition are so important to our wellbeing but it is so easy to start a program and not stick with it.  I feel so strongly that the MPower format provides results and is sustainable that I wanted to be part of sending that message.  

I get the opportunity to engage with clients every day, breaking through performance, nutrition and emotional barriers.  There are few things as rewarding as seeing someone achieve their first rep of a new/challenging move, improve their relationship with food or turn the corner away from shame/guilt to one of pride/confidence. 

I find the community at MPower to resemble that of the various swim teams I belonged to for over 15 years.  It’s more than a group fitness class, it’s more than a weight room. It’s a community of people with individual goals who inspire and cheer each other on to achieve those goals and we win/celebrate as a ‘team’.

We are thrilled that Jenn J found us when she did and that she chose to feel the fear and do it anyway. 

She says that the best thing that has happened to her since joining MPower is that she now knows “how limitless her potential really is”.

A lot of times people come to us because they feel like they are in a rut when it comes to their health and fitness. Some are completely stuck and doing nothing.  For our clients Lisa and Cory, they were exercising but they didn’t love what they were doing and they weren’t seeing the results they wanted.  

Lisa McL says “Before MPower came into my life I was struggling to find a workout that I love. I was not confident in my abilities at all.  I didn’t push myself.  I also was very much in my “bubble”. I worked in St Cloud and lived in Brooklyn Park and I was a hermit.  My only focus was on the kids and what my husband and I needed to do for them. 

I was exercising but I pretended to be a runner for a year. That was boring and the only variety was in the music I listened to.  Then for about 4 months before I started at MPower I started lifting weights.  I enjoyed that but it was still a lonely workout as I would put in my earbuds and go to work.  I needed variety and something more structured to help me push myself.”

I could see us headed down a road of not being an active family. I was inspired to take action so that we could make a change for the better.  My husband joined when I did and he has fallen back in love with fitness.  Every weekend, I plan the workouts I will attend and the times I will go apprentice.  We work very hard to make sure that both Cory an dI get our workouts in each week and around the kids’ activities.  We have become an active family again.  Now instead of watching them run and play, I am racing them back from the bus and chasing them around.”

But for a lot of clients it isn’t as easy as just signing up and then voila they are in love with exercise. It takes time. It takes commitment, dedication and there will be setbacks. Every journey has its ups and downs.

 Lisa says, MPower has given me challenges, gotten me out of my comfort zone in so many ways and given me some amazing people that I am grateful to call my friends.  I look forward to seeing everyone each and every day.  It is a support network like I never thought was possible at a gym.” In her several years with us, Lisa challenged herself to complete the Rugged Maniac a few times, the Tough Mudder, a Triathlon and most recently she has been working toward a full recovery post shoulder injury. 

Lisa loves fitness so much that a few months ago she approached me and asked, what would it take to become a coach and join our team.  I met with her and told her the numerous steps involved but she was undaunted and began to diligently follow through on every single one.  She writes her certified personal training exam January of 2020 and we couldn’t be more excited to have her join the team. 

Lisa remarks that “when I started (at MPower) my goal was strictly weight loss.  I am not focused on that anymore but now I’m focused on being healthy, being active, and growing with MPower. I now have a total love of being active.  Our family is always focused on what we can do to teach our kids how to live a healthy and active life and we are doing the things now because we have much more energy.” As Lisa heals from her shoulder injury she has set a new goal of passing her Level 1 Ascension Test.  We are excited to see her do this in the new year! 

Have you heard the quote, “A river cuts through a rock not because of its power but because of its persistence (by Jim Watkins)?”

I believe it is the same with achieving fitness goals or any goals for that matter. 

Do you need power? 

Yes, power and strength to be persistent and persevere. 

It doesn’t matter what your goal is; lose weight, become more fit/toned, run a marathon, or to just be healthy overall. Whatever your goal, it’s your perseverance that will help you get there.

Tami Hamilton is the amazing woman I want to talk about today. She turned the fabulous 50 this year, was someone that hated going to the gym, lacked energy and was lacking the motivation to change this. I asked how she felt prior to joining MPower Fitness and this is what she told me.

“I hated going to the gym to workout. I was unhappy with how I looked, I had no energy, was unmotivated, and I was eating badly.”

That’s a pretty average statement for people joining our fitness family.  But deep down Tami wanted to make a change, she wanted to feel better and have the energy of a 30 year old. So, she came in to our camp and wanted to see what it was all about. After the orientation she actually walked out and wasn’t going to join. Thankfully she changed her mind. Take a look.

“I turned 50 this year and read that as you get older you lose strength.  I saw the Facebook post and just decided to try it.  When I went to my first orientation I almost did not sign up. I started out to my car but then I thought, 6 weeks I can do so I turned around and went back in. 8 months later I am still going and look forward to it every day.

 I have a better outlook on life. Just a week ago I went hiking with friends and I was always the one holding up the group.  Well not anymore, I kept up and felt good at the end and not tired.  Also my friends said they were proud of my progress because now I could do the harder hikes with them.  I felt proud of myself when they told me this.”

If Tami had not turned around and came back and pushed through she would not have accomplished her goals. Her friends would be out hiking and having fun and she would have been left behind. Tami’s persistence has allowed her to have a new perspective on life. She’s learning to eat better and not give up if she has a small setback.

“I am learning to make healthier chooses and to not get down on myself if I give in to temptations. I’ve learned to ask for help because there is a team to help me.

I love making new friends – it is so inspiring to have people around who have the same goals and face the same struggles you do and to share with each other helps in this journey.

I look better now.  I am not where I want to be 100% yet, but continue to work on getting to a healthier me.”

And with Tami’s determination and perseverance she will most definitely get to where she wants to be. We are so proud of you Tami. Keep up the good work.